The Heights, Burnley recognises the importance that RSE can play in contributing to the development of healthy young people and this policy is designed to ensure that our pupils have access to all the teaching and resources that are required to enable them to make prudent judgements about relationships and sex.
Definition of Relationships and Sex Education
RSE is “lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage and family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health.” (RSE Guidance, DfEE 0116/2000, para. 9 page 5) It is also about the development of the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of himself/herself as a sexual being, about what it means to be fully human, called to live in a right relationship with oneself, others and being enabled to make moral decisions according to an informed conscience.
“The aim of RSE is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It should enable them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship.” (Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory Guidance, p.25, para.1)
The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) at our school are to:
- Foster self-esteem, self-awareness and a sense of personal moral responsibility
- Encourage self-respect and consideration for others
- Help develop skills in communication, decision-making and assertiveness
- Prepare students to avoid unnecessary risks and dangers
The school will endeavour to deliver relationship and sex education within a moral and values framework. This will be done through:
- Promotion of abstinence before the age of consent
- Promotion of committed relationships and the value of family life
- Teaching self-respect, dignity, self‐restraint and respect for others
- Promotion of tolerance of all types of relationships, religions and personal views
- Encourage pupils to reflect on their own relationships in order to develop an understanding of themselves, their sexuality and that of others so that their attitudes in relation to sexual activity are caring and responsible.
- Ensure that pupils appreciate the benefits of stable married life and the responsibilities of parenthood.
- Help pupils recognise the physical, emotional and moral risks of casual and promiscuous sexual behaviour
- Present biological facts in an objective and balanced manner and to use appropriate terminology to enable pupils to discuss issues without embarrassment or fear of ridicule.
- Develop an awareness of an individual’s legal responsibilities in relation to sexual behaviour.
- Ensure other models of family and relationships are recognised and understood.
- Using up to date information and resources
- Ensuring staff are confident in delivering sex education and using specialists to deliver areas of the curriculum where appropriate
- Regular reviewing of the RSE programme to ensure it meets the needs of students
- Provision of additional support for targeted students
Roles and Responsibilities
Governors: in accordance with Section 404 of the Education Act of 1996 the governing body will keep the school’s policy for RSE up to date, in consultation with parents and will make copies of the policy available to them. We will make known to parents their right under Section 405 of the 1996 Act to withdraw their children from all or part of RSE provided at school except for those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum.
- Deputy Head Teacher (line manager of RSE): To enable an annual evaluation of RSE within the school ensuring a clear strategy for advice and guidance, this is appropriately resourced and meets the school’s legal requirements
- PSHE Coordinator: to ensure that the school maintains its high level of RSE provision for all pupils at all times overseeing tutors/heads of department and external agencies ensuring RSE is delivered. This includes, planning and implementation of RSE throughout the school, supporting teachers in the delivery of RSE, managing RSE resources and leading a partnership approach with outside agencies.
- Teachers: all teachers have a responsibility of care; as well as fostering academic progress they should actively contribute to the guardianship and guidance of the physical, moral and spiritual well‐being of their pupils. Teachers will be expected to teach RSE. Appropriate training will be made available for all staff teaching RSE.
- Pupils: all pupils should be willing to listen and ask questions whilst being aware that a variety of other views exist regarding moral issues related to RSE. They will be expected to have a concern for, and accept responsibility for, his/her knowledge and understanding of his/her sexual development.
- The Wider Community: the school will make appropriate use of external agencies and their personnel. All outside speakers and visiting agencies will meet with PSHE Co-ordinator to discuss content and delivery of sex education related to topics. They will be made aware of School’s Relationship and Sex Education policy and be expected to work within it. Visiting speakers will always be seen as a way of enhancing the programme not as a substitute for it.
- Parents: recognising that parents are the primary educators of their children, the school will seek to support them in this task. We will ensure that parents are kept informed of RSE within The Heights, Burnley and of our expectations of their children. Any parents wishing to withdraw their child from the sex education programme should write to the Head Teacher clearly stating their case and a meeting will be arranged with the PHSE Co-ordinator to discuss the issues.
RSE will be taught as a whole school approach through our form time curriculum. Drop-in and 1:1 sessions are available to pupils who require further support and these sessions will be tailored to the individual needs of the pupil.
We will ensure that all involved in the delivery of RSE are familiar with their legal and professional responsibilities.
Students will be made aware that some information cannot be held confidential and will be made to understand that certain disclosures will need to be acted upon. Students will, however, be offered sensitive and appropriate support. The following procedures will be adhered to by all adults:
a) Disclosure or suspicion of possible abuse – the School’s child protection procedure will be followed. (See relevant policy)
b) Disclosure of pregnancy or advice on contraception – the School will at all times put the student first and offer support but the following procedures will be followed:
i. encourage the students to talk to their parents
ii. offer help in talking to their parents
iii. give appropriate information on sources of confidential advice and treatment
iv. seek professional information and guidance from health professional
v. inform another member of staff
Any complaints about the sex education curriculum should be made to the Head Teacher who will report to the governors.